Research & News
Monkey Business: MU Acquires Colobus Coat
Posted: Aug. 13, 2019
For 15 years or more, a boxy, black fur coat hung in the MERS Goodwill office in St. Louis.
It was jet-black and heavy, with long strands of what was originally thought to be gorilla fur. The shoulders were large and square, emblematic of late 1930s haute couture.
Monkey fur coats were made popular by Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli and were only for wealthier clientele. In the Depression era, fur coats sold for around $200-300.
Today, the coat, which is actually made of colobus fur, would be worth thousands, if it were legal to sell.
Today, Parsons said, "for some people it might be a status symbol, and for some people it might be the other way around. They consider it a horrible thing to be wearing it."
Photo credit: Kate Seaman
A coat made from the fur of a Colobus monkey that was donated 15 years ago to MERS Goodwill is now being preserved as a part of the Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Collection in Stanley Hall at MU. The jacket cannot be sold because selling fur coats made from primate species is illegal. Because it can’t be sold, the coat has instead been donated to the collection for educational purposes.
New York Study Tour 2020
Posted: Jul. 18, 2019
TAM 4998/7998: Experiential Learning in Textiles and Apparel
Students enrolled in this course will participate in a New York City study tour. This is an excellent opportunity for students to learn about textile and apparel businesses in the fashion capital of New York City AND earn 3 credit hours in a week. Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.7 or above (or instructor's approval), in order to participate.
Dates: Sunday May 17, 2020 - Saturday May 23, 2020
Volcano Pants: The Latest Fashion Trend from MU Geologists and a Graduate Student
Posted: Jun. 25, 2019
What do you wear when exploring a volcano?
This is a question that professors and students in the MU Department of Geological Sciences face regularly.
In 2010, Alan Whittington, then an associate professor in the department, and a student, Genevieve Robert, now an assistant professor of geology at Bates College in Maine, were unexpectedly stuck overnight on a volcano in Guatemala. To take their minds off of being tired, cold, and hungry, they began griping about things that were bothering them, including the kind of clothing they typically wore during fieldwork. For example, side pockets tended to be located low enough on the leg that their field notebooks rubbed against their leg.
"At the end of a week of field work I usually end up with a pretty sizable bruise on my leg," he says. "I also tend to lose weight during fieldwork, so I have to tighten my belt and end up with pleats. We needed something that is easily adjustable, something that is not too heavy, and something with abrasion resistance, which is a huge deal when working on lava, which is really sharp."
Stuart Kenderes and Brenna Halverson, doctoral students in the MU Department of Geological Sciences, field test "volcano pants" created by Abby Romine, a master's student in Textile and Apparel Management, during a recent research trip to Colorado.
A Chance Meeting, and a Solution
Whittington, now the E.B. Branson Professor of Geological Sciences and department chair, says he would think about the kinds of things he and his students would like to see in rugged, outdoor clothing during field trips over the next few years, but would forget about it once the trip was over.
Then in 2017, Whittington happened to be talking to Professor Pam Norum, chair of the Department of Textile and Apparel Management in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences. She told him she knew someone who might be interested in creating the type of clothing Whittington was seeking for geological fieldwork: Abby Romine.
"She introduced me to her, so I talked about the original idea and what our complaints were, and Abby just ran with it," he says.
Jean Hamilton Pry 1943-2019
Posted: Jun. 18, 2019
Dear TAM Friends,
It is with a heavy heart that we say good bye to our dear friend and colleague, Jean Hamilton Pry. Jean was a Kemper award winning faculty member beloved by both faculty and students. Visitation will be this Saturday, June 22 from 9:00 am - 10:30 am followed by a funeral service at 11:00 am, both to be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 904 Old 63 South. More details will follow.
Spring 2019 TAM Newsletter
Posted: May 16, 2019
See what's new at the MU Department of Textile and Apparel Management with the Spring 2019 Newsletter.
TAM Senior Hadas Cohen Interviewed on Chancellor's Podcast
Posted: Apr. 30, 2019
Hadas Cohen, a senior in the Department of Textile and Apparel Management was recently interviewed for the MU Chancellor's podcast "Inside Mizzou: Tigers in the Workforce." Hadas will work as a merchandising analyst at Walmart’s corporate headquarters after graduation and discusses some of the experiences that have shaped her time at Mizzou, and highlights the resources that have supported her journey.
Margaret Mangel Lectureship - Mindy Scheier
Posted: Apr. 22, 2019
The 2019 Margaret Mangel Lectureship was held at the University of Missouri on April 18, 2019. This year's lecturer was Mindy Scheier, President and Founder of the Runway of Dreams Foundation. Ms. Scheier presented on "Breaking Down Barriers for People with Disabilities: The Role of Clothing."
TAM Junior Helps Shape Campus Fashion Through ZOUtique Internship
Posted: Apr. 18, 2019
Story by Jocelyn Racelis
Like other students on campus, Rebecca Pabon notices what other students are wearing. Unlike other students on campus, she recognizes some of the clothes as items she picked out.
Pabon is an assistant buyer for the ZOUtique, a boutique located in the corner of The Mizzou Store. Her role is to hand-select the clothing items sold there.
"When I come to the store and see something I took a risk on and it’s actually selling out and I see girls on campus wearing it, it’s extremely rewarding," says Pabon, from Park Ridge, Illinois. "I love that part of the job."
The ZOUtique offers student intern positions that mirror actual positions in the retail industry. Pabon gained valuable experience that will help her toward her goal of becoming a Nordstrom or a Balenciaga buyer.
She applied for the position the summer before her sophomore year. Getting involved in her major as an underclassman has helped Pabon get a leg up in her classes and other retail-oriented work.
On top of her internship, Pabon was involved in The Bridge Label and the Association of Textile and Apparel Management. These student organizations exposed her to new experiences that her internship did not focus on, such as coordinating photoshoots and traveling to networking events.
Pabon, a junior, noticed a lot of overlap in her classes and her job as she continued to study Textile and Apparel Management (TAM) in the College of Human Environmental Sciences with a minor in business. Skills such as retail math, checking sales, and markups or markdowns, she learned in class and in her ZOUtique internship.
TAM Aims to Reduce Apparel-Related Barriers Experienced by People Living with Disabilities Through a Semester Full of Design and Disability Events
Posted: Apr. 17, 2019
By Kristen Morris, Kerri McBee-Black, and Li Zhao
This spring, faculty in the Department of Textile and Apparel Management (TAM) in the College of Human Environmental Sciences at MU are providing students with opportunities to redesign apparel and retail environments, so they are inclusive of people living with disabilities.
In March, Dr. Kristen Morris, Dr. Li Zhao, and Kerri McBee-Black hosted a panel of industry experts and consumers in a symposium to discuss ways to design and market clothing that is inclusive of people living with disabilities. Over 150 students, staff, faculty, and members of the Columbia community attended the symposium. Adaptive apparel is one option available to people living with disabilities. Adaptive apparel includes mass-marketed clothing intentionally designed to address the specific needs of people living with disabilities.
The symposium panelists represented different aspects of the apparel supply chain, from fabric developers to apparel producers, and end-consumers. Morris, Zhao, and McBee-Black felt that it was important to have multiple voices from across the apparel industry represented on the panel for a well-rounded discussion about the clothing barriers imposed on people living with disabilities. The panelists included Wendy Blankinship from Cotton Incorporated, a non-profit that promotes the use of cotton in apparel products; William Herron and Jillian Jankovsky from NBZ Adaptive International, an Ohio-based adaptive apparel retailer who produces jeans for adults and children disabilities (www.nbzapparel.com); Chuck Graham, Co-Director of the Great Plains ADA Center, housed within the Department of Architectural Studies in HES; and Kate Chadwick and her son Skyler who represented end consumers of adaptive apparel.
Chuck, Kate, and Skyler spoke about the issues they experience with mass-market apparel, including fit, looking professional, durability, and cost. For example, Chuck explained that when he was serving in the Missouri House of Representatives and the Missouri Senate, he could not find suits off the rack that fit well and looked professional. So he invested in custom-made suits made by a tailor who also made uniforms for horseback riders. The tailor understood how to create garments that are comfortable when in a seated position. Kate spoke about her experiences finding clothing that is comfortable for her son Skyler who has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and a sensory processing disorder. Skyler discussed how he has intense reactions to fabric textures and pressure and friction caused by clothes.
Wendy provided ideas about how to address these specific user-issues through fabric innovations which increase clothing durability and functionality for consumers with disabilities. Jillian and William shared the specific garment design, fit, and marketing approaches of adaptive apparel products for the clients of NBZ. Specifically, Jillian explained how NBZ was the first retailer to create jeans specifically for people living with Downs Syndrome who have stomach sensitivity. Further, William discussed how NBZ was one of select-few business and organizations selected to participate at the White House’s Design for All showcase in 2016.
For the students attending who are participating in Drs. Morris and Zhao’s classes, the symposium was an opportunity to hear multiple perspectives about adaptive apparel from people across the industry, first-hand information for their course projects. The symposium marked the half-way point in a larger curriculum that is focusing on designing and marketing clothing for people living with disabilities. Students in TAM 3480 Technical Design are addressing the challenges people living with disabilities experience with clothing by designing a small collection of adaptive apparel garments and students in TAM 3700 Omni-Channel Retailing, are analyzing the adaptive apparel market to propose solutions to enhance people living with disabilities shopping experiences and develop mock websites and social media content promoting cotton as a barrier-breaking fiber for adaptive apparel. Both courses have been working together throughout the semester to ensure the problem of apparel for people living with disabilities is addressed from the holistic product development process.
From Left: Chuck Graham, Skyler Chadwick, Kate Chadwick, Jillian Jankovsky, William Herron, and Wendy Blankinship
Clockwise From Left: Li Zhao, Wendy Blankinship, Kristen Morris, Kate Chadwick, Kerri McBee-Black, Jillian Jankovsky, William Herron, Anna Moritz, Chuck Graham, Skyler Chadwick and Rylie Bryant. Anna and Rylie are undergraduate research assistants for this project.
Jillian Jankovsky from NBZ Apparel talking about how she perfected the fit and design of the Downs for Designs jeans collection.
In April, students, and the greater Mizzou community had an additional opportunity to consider how apparel impacts the daily lives of people living with disabilities when Mindy Schreier, founder of Runway of Dreams spoke on campus as the Margaret Mangle Lectureship Series in HES. In a public event and visits in two TAM courses, Mindy talked about her personal experiences as a mother and caretaker of her son who has a disability.
Overall, the spring semester was rich with opportunity for students and the greater community to exchange ideas about how to reduce the apparel-related barriers for people living with disabilities. Events focused on the issues of design and disability as an important topic for students to consider, particularly as they prepare to enter the apparel workforce where there is a greater focus on design for underserved apparel markets.
Design for Disability: Adaptive Clothing Innovations Symposium
Posted: Apr. 12, 2019
The Design for Disability: Adaptive Clothing Innovations Symposium took place on Mar. 31, 2019 at the University of Missouri. Panelists from Cotton Inc., NBZ Apparel, and the Great Plains ADA Center discuss designing adaptive apparel for people living with disabilities from a user-centered perspective and addresses innovative materials and design approaches for the burgeoning market. The discussion includes adaptive clothing barriers facing people living with a disability and future opportunities for apparel innovations.
TAM Programs Rank Among the Top in the Nation
Posted: Jan. 22, 2019
2018 International Textile and Apparel Association Awards
Posted: Nov. 15, 2018
MU HES TAM was awarded 7 out of 47 awards at the 2018 ITAA conference this November in Cleveland, Ohio, including Student Best Paper Awards for Dr Saheli Goswami, 1st Place, Kim Johnson Best Doctoral Student Paper, 2nd Place, Sunhyung Cho; Master Level 1st Place, Dipali Modi. Creative and Innovation Employment of Techniques Award to Dr. Jean Parsons, Professor, and Dr. Kristen Morris, Assistant Professor for “Afterglow: An equitably designed trench coat.” Research and Teaching Awards -- Intellect Books Research went to Dr. Kristen Morris, Lida Aflatoony (MU HES TAM) and Dr. Angela Uriyo at West Virginia University, and Sunhyung Cho, Iowa State University for “Development of tactile garment design strategies for women with visual impairments.” ATEXINC Award for Innovation in Textile Instruction awarded to Dr. Kristen Morris for “Teaching the next generation of technical designers about cotton performance technologies through a problem-based learning projects.” Paper of Distinction Textile and Apparel Industries Track went to Dr. Li Zhao, Assistant Professor (MU HES TAM) and Dr. Chao Min, Nanjing University, for “The rise of fashion informatics: Data-mining based social network analysis in fashion.” Congratulations to our students, faculty and alumni for these honors at ITAA.
Dr. Angela Uriyo, Dr. Kristen Morris, Lida Aflatoony, Sunhyung Cho - Intellect Books Research Award
Dr. Li Zhao accepting Paper of Distinction Award
Dr. Li Zhao accepting Best Paper Award Master Level for Dipali Modi
Dr. Kristen Morris accepting ATEXINC Award
Drs. Jean Parsons and Kristen Morris accepting Creative and Innovation Employment of Techniques Award
Dr. Mestres Selected to UM System Advisor Development Program
Posted: Sep. 5, 2018
Congratulations to Dr. Jaime Mestres on her selection to the inaugural cohort of the UM System Advisor Development Program (ADP). Dr. Mestres was chosen as on of only 20 advising and support staff from the entire UM System. Participants of the ADP program were selected based on their status as established members of the student support team on campus, and for their help in shaping the student experience. Since 2008, Dr. Mestres has been making a difference for Textile and Apparel Management (TAM) students. As an academic advisor, she counsels students academically regarding policies, campus resources, programs of study, class schedules, enrollment and other academic decisions. Further, Dr. Mestres counsels students in careers and assists with employer relations in addition to executing the annual TAM Career Fair. Dr. Mestres also teaches TAM courses in a variety of areas, including professional development, e-commerce, branding, retailing and consumer behavior. Her research interests include consumer behavior and marketing, as well as social/ cultural and historical development of the junior wear industry.